Uniting boys and girls for a more equal Malawi

Born out of Malawian culture, Zathu uses the power of music and storytelling to close the gender gap and tackle challenging topics such as relationships, stereotypes, self-expression, and sexual health.

Zathu quote FINAL

Something was sleeping within our children, but now it has awakened because of Zathu.

Deputy Headmaster, Ezondweni Secondary School, Malawi
Five must-haves to launch the biggest youth brand in Malawi

Zathu brings boys and girls closer, and allows us to ask questions without being judged.

Theresa, Lilongwe
Zathu band

A groundbreaking approach not just for Malawi, but the region as a whole.

Ambassador Deborah Birx, the United States global AIDS co-ordinator
Zathu launches second single in Malawi

I have learnt a lot of things from Zathu. I have learnt to be strong, loving and caring, non-discriminatory, and to have healthy self-esteem.

Girl, 20, Malawi

The sound of a new Malawi

Bringing together the best of local culture and creativity, Zathu is a unique youth brand that uses the power of music and storytelling to tackle challenging topics around growing up - from friendships and finding the confidence to express yourself, to harmful stereotypes and sexual health.  

Meaning ‘Ours’ in Chichewa, Zathu is on a mission to unite girls and boys to forge an equal Malawi through the power of storytelling and music - helping girls to be seen, to be heard, and to achieve. 

Zathu launched in 2017 in partnership with PEPFAR’s DREAMS initiative, with the aim to close the gender gap in Malawi and tackle the high rates of HIV infection among adolescent girls. Consumed by 4.3 million people via radio shows, magazines, music, and digital channels, 90% of consumers believe Zathu has improved their perception of girls and young women in Malawi.

What we make

Brands for social change Zathu Band Header


Blending traditional Malawian influences with modern beats to spread positive messages about friendship.

Radio presenters - Zathu

Radio Show

Features music, real-life stories, an agony aunt and a drama about six friends in the Zathu Band.

Zathu wins breakthrough HIV prevention award at AIDS 2018

Digital channels

Allowing fans to engage with content and competitions, download and stream content.

A branded approach to tackling HIV in Malawi


Informative and entertaining content distributed to schools for free. 

A branded approach to tackling HIV in Malawi

Brand Ambassadors

Supporting content distribution in the districts where Zathu is active.

Our impact


4.3 million people

aged 10+ consume Zathu, including 1.8 million 10-19 year-olds 

(Zathu comparative analysis, 2020)

Girls' Agency

39% of girls

who consume relevant content answer all questions relating to knowledge on communicating with partners correctly, 11% higher than non consumers

Behaviour Change

32% of magazine readers

are more likely to have had the first dose of the HPV vaccine that protects them from cervical cancer than non-readers

(Zathu mini-magazine evaluation, 2020)

Zathu awards & endorsements

Zathu has been recognised for the strides it is already taking in tackling the structural and negative social drivers that reinforce gender inequality in Malawi.

Demand creation award

Winner of ‘Best Breakthrough Creative’ in the Demand Creation Challenge awards 2018

Shorty Social Good awards

Distinction in the ‘Gender Equality’ category of Shorty Social Good awards 2018

Read more
Excellence Awards

Shortlisted for an African Excellence Award in the 'Multi Channel Communication' category

Zathu partnerships



Breaking down negative attitudes and behaviours that prevent girls accessing life-saving vaccines

Learn more about Gavi


Increasing demand for health services by empowering girls

Learn more about PEPFAR DREAMS


Putting empowering content in the hands of girls, globally

Learn more about Facebook

Would you like to work in partnership with Girl Effect in Malawi?

Contact our team

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